Proving the Business Case for the Internet of Things

U-Blox donates 4G modules to keep sick children connected

Steve Rogerson
September 27, 2016

Swiss company U-Blox has donated 500 4G modules to Norwegian connected healthcare start-up No Isolation to improve an avatar for sick children who have to stay in hospital or at home for a long time.
The robotic avatar AV1 represents the child during school classes, field trips or birthday parties, enabling them to participate in everyday events where their medical condition means that they can’t be physically present.
“AV1 gives children the ability to participate in all the everyday events that allows a child to feel included,” said Karen Dolva, No Isolation’s CEO. “Together with U-Blox, we are using cellular LTE technology to bridge a gap in today’s healthcare systems and help tackle the loneliness and social isolation that children experience during long periods of illness.”
The Toby-L200 4G modules enable the AV1 to transmit audio and video from anywhere so that as long as there is 4G coverage, the child’s parents, teachers and friends won’t need to think about connecting the AV1 to wifi. The avatar’s 4G connection is automatic and entirely within the child’s control.
Equipped with a camera, a microphone and speakers, the avatar streams live video to the child’s phone or tablet, allowing them to see and hear the avatar’s surroundings in real time, as well as talk with an ordinary voice and decide what direction the robot is looking.
“We believe that No Isolation’s award-winning avatar can address the isolation that many sick children experience during a prolonged stay in hospital or at home,” said U-Blox CEO Thomas Seiler. “It is a privilege to support such a young and passionate entrepreneurial team in a way that is entirely in line with our existing corporate social responsibility (CSR) goals. CSR is an integral part of our company culture and this initiative fully demonstrates the power of U-Blox’s wireless technology to solve a long-term children’s health issue, as well as epitomising our vision of an internet of things that really matter.”
Toby-L200 is a category four LTE module, providing data throughput of up to 150Mbit/s on the downlink and 50Mbit/s on the uplink. Its high data speeds make it suitable for video applications such as streaming and conferencing. Supporting multi-band LTE-FDD, along with DC-HSPA+, GPRS Edge and circuit-switched voice fallback, it assures connectivity even in areas where 4G may not be available.
"AV1 would not work without a 4G mobile connection," says Marius Aabel, CTO of No Isolation. "The robot needs to work in the classroom, in birthday parties and out on field trips, without having to go through the hassle of wifi configuration and the worries of no network coverage."